Guide to Bondi Beach

Each year more than a million travellers descend on the golden shoreline of Bondi Beach. Here's why. Guide to Bondi Beach
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Local's Guide to Bondi Beach

Each year more than a million travellers descend on the golden shoreline of Bondi Beach. Here's why.


By Ellie Schneider

It's Australia’s most famous beach. Often the first port of call for backpackers, billionaires, surfers and sunbathers, Bondi's golden crescent and clear, turquoise waters never fail to impress. But there's more to love about Bondi than the sand and surf. A burgeoning food and bar scene, one-off fashion boutiques and luxury accommodation have made Bondi Beach one of the city's most glamorous destinations. In the side streets you'll find alfresco cafés, yoga schools and weekend markets, and down on the promenade things are action-packed. Stay awhile and you too will be hooked.

HOW TO GET THERE

Express buses run to Bondi Beach from Sydney city centre, and take about 30 minutes. Trains go from the city centre to Bondi Junction, which is a 10 minute bus or taxi ride from the beach.

 

DON’T MISS

  • Dine at lauded waterfront restaurants
  • Spot whales along the Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk
  • Go shopping at markets and boutiques

Bondi Beach Highlights

TOP THINGS TO DO IN BONDI BEACH

Follow Sydney's most scenic walk
Walk along the remarkable Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk, which stretches for four kilometres (2.5 miles), curving between the clifftops of Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte. Take a dip in the photogenic Bondi Icebergs pool or the natural rockpool at the southern end of Bronte Beach. Stop to take in panoramic views across the Pacific Ocean, keeping an eye out for migrating whales between May and November. The Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk also sets the stage for more than 100 sculptures by Australian and international artists during Sculpture by the Sea, which takes place in late October to early November. 

Ride the rolling waves
Bondi's protected waters are a great place to learn to surf. Let’s Go Surfing offers small group and private lessons for adults and kids, catering to beginner and intermediate surfers. Bondi is also the home of Australian surf lifesaving. The Bondi Surf Bathers' Life Saving Club formed in 1907 and is recognised as the oldest surf lifesaving club in the world. On Sunday mornings between October and March you can see the "nippers", Australia's future lifesavers, learning the ropes from as young as five years old. When swimming at Bondi Beach make sure to swim between the red and yellow flags.

Hit the shops
Bondi has become a sought-out shopping destination, with many fashion boutiques lining Gould Street, which runs parallel to the beachfront Campbell Parade. Pick up designer threads at Tuchuzy, which houses a mix of international and cult Australian labels. Men can stock up on wardrobe staples at The Academy Brand, while Jac + Jack is the go-to for sophisticated yet relaxed designers. If you're visiting at the weekend don’t miss the Bondi Markets (Sunday 10am-4pm), held in the grounds of the local public school, where you'll find locally made jewellery, homewares and vintage clothing. This is also the site of the Bondi Farmers Market (Saturday 9am-1pm), where many locals choose to do their weekly grocery shopping. Head here early and get breakfast from one of the many food stalls serving corn fritters, Vietnamese pho, grilled cheese sandwiches and a range of baked goods.   

Dine with a view
At either end of the beach's sweeping arc sit two of Bondi's most popular restaurants. Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, at the southern end, is led by renowned restaurateur Maurice Terzini, and serves regional Italian cuisine with dishes such as fresh gnocchi, ragu of suckling pig, olive and sage; and slow-cooked Riverina lamb, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and anchovy vinaigrette. The clincher? Its jaw-dropping ocean views. At the other end of the beach North Bondi Fish makes the most of its seaside locale with a delectable menu of fresh, top-quality seafood. With acclaimed chef Matt Moran at the helm, you can expect dishes such as cured salmon with beetroot, horseradish and watercress; King Crab sliders; and beer-battered flathead with chips. Tip: nab a seat on the balcony at sundown and sip signature cocktails such as the Bondi Bubble – Belvedere citrus, berry liqueur, pink grapefruit, lime, lavender and ginger beer.

Stay in boutique accommodation 
Bondi’s newest high-end hotel, QT Bondi, is set just footsteps from the beach. It offers 69 individually styled luxury suites, designed by renowned Australian designer Nic Graham, with easy access to Gould Street's shops, restaurants and cafés. Up the road on Hall Street, Adina Apartment Hotel offers accommodation from studio rooms to three-bedroom apartments, which is great if you're travelling with the whole gang. There's also a pool and gym on site. If you're travelling on a budget there are a number of hostels, bed and breakfasts and house rentals available too.

Visit during a festival
Bondi Beach is the location for a diverse line-up of festival and events throughout the year. In September see hundred of kites rise above the sand for the Festival of the Winds, and from January to February catch a movie at dusk at Ben and Jerry's Openair Cinemas. In August join more than 80,000 people who take park in the Sun-Herald City2Surf, a 14 kilometre (8.7 mile) fun run from the city centre to Bondi Beach. In June and July experience Bondi Winter Magic, a six week festival of art, music, ice-skating and beach camel rides. Check out what's on at the heritage-listed Bondi Pavilion, which regularly hosts theatre, workshops and screenings, including the short film festival Flickerfest in January.

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